[Marxism] Vietnam-Iraq comparisons
lnp3 at panix.com
Mon Nov 15 11:56:05 MST 2004
We should not make facile comparisons between the two wars based on
"only" 38 Marines being killed in Fallujah. Keep in mind that the USA
has admitted that there are 275 wounded, which the Independent claims is
less than the real total.
With the advent of body armor, there are far fewer deaths but *far more*
instances of totally incapacitating wounds, including amputation,
blindness, brain damage, etc.
The San Francisco Chronicle
JULY 14, 2004, WEDNESDAY, FINAL EDITION
The invisible wound;
Though high-tech body armor saves lives on the battlefield, more and
more troops are suffering traumatic head injuries
Matthew B. Stannard
Sgt. 1st Class Alec Giess clenched his eyes shut as he struggled to
recall how his fellow Oregon National Guardsmen found him after a truck,
swerving to avoid a suspected land mine, ejected him onto an Iraqi
roadway -- then rolled on top of him.
"If my boots weren't sticking out from under the truck, they probably
wouldn't have found me. It was like the Wicked Witch of the East in ..."
He paused, his face a mask of concentration. "What is that? Oh, yeah,
'The Wizard of Oz.' "
That effort to recall a film known and beloved by nearly every American
is one Giess must bring to all his activities now, from remembering to
eat lunch to arriving on time at his daughter's middle school graduation.
Giess has more or less healed from many of the injuries he suffered when
the transport truck landed on his body and gave him cracked vertebrae, a
broken collarbone and shoulder and bruises where his life-saving body
armor pressed into his skin.
But he still suffers from traumatic brain injury, or TBI, a wound that
has proved unusually common in the Iraq conflict, in which new body
armor saves soldiers from injuries that would have killed them in the
past but can't keep their brains from banging against the walls of their
All over the USA there are thousands of men and women who are living
with terrible wounds such as these. In a way, this is more aggravating
than a death since there is a constant reminder that a young man or
woman has lost their sight or a limb to a war for oil. With 8,000
wounded veterans, we are talking about a massive number.
Finally, keep in mind that there were far more troops in Vietnam than in
Iraq. With 138,000 in Iraq and 543,482 in Vietnam at its peak, you would
have had 152 dead and 1200 wounded in Fallujah on a proportional basis.
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